Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,755 / Dac

Posted by RatkojaRiku on August 24th, 2011


With Dac as the mastermind behind today’s puzzle, highly sound clues with
smooth-as-silk surface readings were bound to be the order of the day,
and Dac did not disappoint. Overall, I very much enjoyed this puzzle
and made steady progress throughout, grinding to a halt only in the SW corner,
where 19 and 21 were both new words for me. My own feeling is that it was rather
beastly of Dac to slot two less familiar words into the same corner of the puzzle!

For me, 17, 21, 23 and 25 were the pick of the surface readings, although my favourite
clue overall was the & lit. at 10, not least for its clever dropping of the “t”
from “port”. 25 caught my attention as I am not as used to this brand having entered the
language as I am to brands such as hoover, biro, etc.

I also found myself wondering about “rather” as a definition for “slightly” in 16,
which the dictionary seems to allow, although I would tend to use “rather” to mean
“fairly, quite” as opposed to “slightly”, as in my first paragraph above: maybe such
points of usage are basically a matter of personal preference?

*(…) indicates an anagram

1 CANAPÉ AN in CAPE (cover)
4 HARD COPY [C (=chapter) + OP (=work)] in HARDY (=novelist)
9 SOMALI SO (=very much) + MALI (=African country)
10 POISONER [IS + ONE] + POR<t> (=dock; “before being
given time (=T)” means that letter “t”
is not used); & lit.
11 ONSLAUGHT L<awless> (“leader” means first letter only)
in *(A SHOTGUN); “waving” is anagram indicator.
13 YOBBO YO (=hello, in US) + BB (=bye-bye, in texting) + O
14 FASHION PLATES O (=love) in *(FLASH PANTIES); “when partying” is
anagram indicator.
17 TEMPERAMENTAL TEMP (=office worker) + ERA (=time) + MENTAL (=out
to lunch, i.e. crazy)
20 OAKUM Homophone (“we ’ear”) of “(h)okum” (=nonsense); the
omission of “h” from homophone indicator tells us to disregard the “h” in the
homophone itself; oakum is old rope untwisted and teased out for caulking the
seams of ships.
22 BROACHING BRO (=relative) + ACHING (=suffering); for the clue
to be parsed correctly, the -’s in “bro’s” must mean has, as in he’s just
, instead of meaning is
or being a possessive.
23 LANDSEER LAND (=country) + SEE (=view) + R (=river); the
reference is to Sir Edwin Henry Landseer (1802-1873), the English painter of
24 LAYOUT A double definition, although the definition proper
has to be “arrangement” because of the word count, i.e. (6) and not (3,3):
LAY OUT = (to) “floor”, i.e. to knock to the floor (e.g. in boxing), while
LAYOUT = “arrangement”, format.
25 NINTENDO INTEND (=plan) in NO (=small number, i.e.
abbreviation of number)
26 STINGY STING (=scam) + <traged>Y (“ending in” means
last letter only)
1 CAST-OFFS [A in {C<harity> S<hop> (“front sections”
means first letters only)}] + TOFF’S (=gent’s)
2 NEMESIS *(MEISSEN); “works” is anagram indicator.
3 PALLADIUM PALL (=gloomy atmosphere) + [U (=for the family, of
a film rating) in A + DIM (=dark)]; the London Palladium is a famous West End
theatre, famed for its musical variety shows.
5 AMONTILLADO A in [A + MON (=day, i.e. Monday) + TILL (=work,
i.e. the land) + DO]
6 DISHY Hidden (“group of”) in “SweDISH Yuppies”
7 OMNIBUS SUB (=editor’s assistant) + IN + MO (=short time, as
in in a mo’); “piled up” indicates
vertical reversal; an omnibus (book) contains reprints of several works or items,
usually by the same author, hence “collection of writings”.
8 YARROW A in WORRY (=dog, as a verb); “has a turn” indicates
12 GINGERBREAD E<nglish> R<oses> (“principally” means
first letters only are used) in *(BIG GARDEN); “developed” is anagram
indicator; gingerbread refers to an often over-elaborate ornamental style.
15 TRENCHANT TRENCH (=ditch) + ANT (=worker); the definition is “keen”,
as in sharp, incisive.
16 SLIGHTLY LIGHT (=answer to clue, in crosswording) in SLY (=clever);
the definition is “rather”, i.e. somewhat, to some degree.
17 TAKEN ON *(ONE TANK); “repaired” is anagram indicator.
18 TRICORN TRICO<t> (=knitted material; “mostly” means
last letter is dropped) + RN (=navy, i.e. Royal Navy)
19 POPLIN POP (=father, especially in US) + L (=left) + IN
(=wearing); poplin is a ribbed fabric of e.g. cotton, used in making clothing
and upholstery.
21 MASSÉ Hidden (“during”) in “ChristMAS SEason”; a massé is
a stroke made with the cue almost vertical in e.g. snooker, hence “game shot”
as definition.



8 Responses to “Independent 7,755 / Dac”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Must have been in the zone today, because I fairly whizzed through this one. But as you say, RatkojaRiku, smooth surfaces abounding and a well-crafted puzzle.

    Hadn’t come across the meanings of GINGERBREAD or FASHION PLATES before, but both eminently gettable. I was helped in 18dn by knowing the French for ‘knit’ is ‘tricoter’ (‘les tricoteuses’ were the women who knitted while heads were being removed during the French Revolution).

    Needed your explanation for PALLADIUM, so thank you for that and the blog.

    I fancy the two Bs in YOBBO are a cricket reference: B is the abbreviation in the scorebook for a bye, when (just for an example) M S Dhoni lets it through his legs for an extra. But your way works as well.

  2. nmsindy says:

    The usual excellent puzzle from Dac, POISONER was my favourite too.

  3. Bamberger says:

    Terrific blog that I really needed as this was my worst attempt at a Dac for ages. Never got going , not helped by
    10a Wordplay way out of my league
    13a Yo -wasn’t that horrible thing Bush said to his poodle aka Blair. Anyway never occured to me.
    14a Guessed fashion and had plates but didn’t write it in as plates just didn’t make any sense.
    20a Never heard of
    25a Didn’t realise that the Indie allowed brand names
    8d Never heard of
    15d May of heard of but certainly didn’t come to mind
    21d Another never heard of.

  4. superkiwigirl says:

    Thanks for your usual fine blog, RatkojaRiku – I didn’t know the words OAKUM and MASSÉ before today, though both were fairly clued and gettable. I was also unaware that LIGHT = “answer to clue in crosswording” so thank you for explaining this. The point that you make about “rather” is interesting, because in some phrases I think that its vagueness means that quite a wide spectrum of meaning can be covered (e.g. in something like “it’s rather complicated” the speaker might intend anything from “fairly”, “quite” and “somewhat” at one end to “slightly” or “a bit” at the other).

    Yes, POISONER is very clever, definitely my COD too. Thanks, Dac, for another entertaining puzzle.

  5. NealH says:

    I was a bit dubious about Nintendo for game, since Nintendo is the corporation that makes games and consoles rather than a game itself. But I see some dictionaries do define it as “any game intended for a Nintendo console”.

    For once, I knew most of the obscure words – remembered prisoners picking oakum and picked up masse from hours of listening to snooker commentary. Poplin was the one which caused me the most problems, with the misleading wordplay suggesting father around l. Like other people, I very much liked poisoner.

  6. flashling says:

    Disappointedly gave up as couldn’t see it on Poplin (which is new to me) and massé took a while as I’d only ever heard it in commentary, not written, so without the accent made it a bit tricky. Thanks RR and Dac.

  7. ele says:

    Thanks RatkojaRiku for the blog and explanation of Palladium. Although I did eventually finish all but one, like Bamberger@3 I found it much harder than the usual Dac. In retrospect it’s difficult to see why. Poisoner was my COD too.

  8. Allan_C says:

    One of those crosswords where the wordplay in a lot of the clues only becomes clear after you’ve got the answers – or even had to read the blog on 15^2. Such as 10a, 3, 5 & 19d. Liked the synecdoche in 14a.

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